Review: Wii Fit Plus – A Great Update to a Great Series

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Wii Fit, an interactive fitness experience that has invaded the market place like a genetically modified pitbull on steroids, gave players the long-awaited ability to work out at home. With their Wii. This time around, Nintendo gives us Wii Fit Plus, which for all intents and purposes is an expansion to the original. Alot of people are probably asking though, “Is it worth the dough?!”

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To get this out of the way first, I want to point out that this game (as a retail release) would be completely unneccesary if the Wii allowed for patching and adding content to existing games. Consider Wii Fit Plus like the expansion to your favorite PC games (a la Warcraft, Command & Conquer etc). Nintendo has essentially applied the expansion to the game and repackaged it for retail.On X-Box 360 or PS3 this would have been a purchasable content patch to the game.

If you have already purchased Wii Fit, Plus is pretty much a no-brainer. The addition of the new balance games and “My Wii Fit Plus” sectors of the game not only enhance the experience, but make the old way of doing things so clearly clunky and wrong that you will never be able to go back to your original Wii Fit disc (nor will you need to; Wii Fit Plus has the EXACT same interface as the original, with the extra features added on top).

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When you first boot up the game, Plus will search your Wii for your previous save file and port it over seamlessly. All your data and graphs will appear, and you will notice on the graph page that you can now also log your waist measurements and steps (steps do not interact with Personal Trainer: Walking, which I feel is a lost opportunity). As you go through the game, you will be introduced to each new feature. Like I said before, all the original workouts are still there in their exact same menus and interface with absolutely no change (except for the three new yoga and strength exercises added to their respective menus.

You are now also given the option to weigh your babies and pets (finally!). This is done by holding the pet or baby, and the system will use your most recent weight and determine their weight. This is done very effectively, my only complaint is that the babies and pets don’t get fat (how cool would it be to see a fat baby?!).

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All of the new balance games are loaded into the “Training Plus” menu, allowing you to easily find them. Consistent with every other game in the Wii series, some of the mini-games are a ton of fun (personal faves include Snowball Fight and Driving Range), while others downright suck. One of the worst is “Perfect 10,” which you’ve undoubtedly seen on the ads. (Really Nintendo, you’re showcasing this game with a game that combines math and butt-waggle?!).

Perhaps my favorite addition in Wii Fit Plus is the routines that have been added, specifically the ability to customize your own workout routine. The previous Wii Fit was almost unusable in my opinion, requiring you to break up your workout in between each exercise. With the “My Routine” option, you are now able to design your own workout routine, and then run it without even needing to press A in between workouts. This feature alone makes Wii Fit Plus worth buying; the workout experience is much more fluid and easy to maintain.

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However, Wii Fit Plus still comes with a few draw backs. The game still predominately uses the inaccurate BMI scale, which has been criticized by exercise scientists and kinesiologists as not being an accurate measure of health. The game also does not allow you the option to select between metric and imperial measuring systems. For the most part, this has gone unnoticed (American users will use imperial), but if your Wii is set to Canada, for example, you will be forced to use the metric system. If you want to weigh yourself in pounds instead of kilograms (like I did), the only way you can do so is to change your location in the Wii system settings; there is no way to change this in-game. This is a huge oversight by Nintendo, especially when parental controls, as well as channels like the Nintendo Channel, Everyone Votes, and Check Mii Out are region specific.

Overall, Wii Fit Plus is a great upgrade to the original game. If you own Wii Fit and enjoyed it, you owe it to yourself to buy this. If you don’t, you probably will never realize what you were missing in the original, and it is still a great buy. However, there are little things that erk me, and it doesn’t blow me away. At least there are enough features in this that it will take alot longer for this to become a glorified bathroom scale.

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